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Pandemic pet surrenders rise as owners go back to work in Shelby County

In 2020, the number of surrenders to Shelby County Animal Shelter and Control from January to August was 123. This year, it’s 148.

SHELBY COUNTY, Ky. — As more people began working from home last year and found more time on their hands, the number of pet adoptions at many shelters went up.

From January to August in 2020, Shelby County Animal Shelter and Control adopted out 55 pets. This year, it’s been just 38.

But now, the pandemic pet boom is facing an unfortunate trend. The Shelby County shelter is seeing more surrenders as people return to their normal lives.

“We’re seeing a big issue where everyone is trying to go back to work, they just don’t have time for the dog anymore or they’re starting to see behavioral issues because the dog got used to someone being home with them 24/7 and now, they’re not,” Animal Control Officer Supervisor Danielle Reynolds said.

RELATED: Here's what you should do to prepare your pets before you stop working from home

Last year the number of surrenders from January to August was 123. This year, it’s 148.

The number of strays brought in has been up too. No pet wants to return after leaving the shelter once, so Reynolds suggests people think through the responsibility and time getting a pet - especially a dog - will take.  

“Before you adopt, just know that dogs are a lifetime commitment, it's more than just a couple years and they do get upset when they are brought back,” Reynolds.

The shelter also offers resources to help with behavior issues, like training. Reynolds says people should call in and they will help, so your pet can feel certain that their home is forever.

Contact reporter Rose McBride at rmcbride@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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